Category Archives: EDC

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Astrolux K1 USB Rechargeable Keychain light

The Astrolux K1 is a new keychain style light with 3 different LED options onboard. https://i.imgur.com/UU4tHfW.jpg You have the main centered Cree XP G3 LED in a cool white, on one side you then have a small 365 nanometer UV LED and on the other side you have a small red LED. This light is actually made by Mateminco as the CSF02 and rebranded for Banggood as the Astrolux K1. As far as I can tell it’s the exact same between the two even down to the box design. Thanks for Banggood for sending this light out for me to take a look at.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/rjMh7
Youtube Review:

Size and Build Quality
Size wise this is nearly identical to the Nitecore TIP I review several months ago. https://i.imgur.com/prTmREi.jpg https://i.imgur.com/RRXqv8S.jpg https://i.imgur.com/mFVO7JM.jpg The only real difference is in the tail is. Construction seems to be on par with the TIP. It has a metalized body, I can’t quite tell if it’s 100% metal or a metalized plastic. The K1 is held together with 8 T5 Torx screws, 4 on each side. https://i.imgur.com/JeoIcge.jpg The buttons require a quite firm press to activate and a longer press as well to come on from off. I have carried this in my pocket for the last 2 weeks and had no issues with it turning on by accident.

I choose the rainbow finish to have something different. https://i.imgur.com/xggkJ3u.jpg It’s a glossy finish that fingerprints very easily which I am ok with. I don’t have it on my keys so I have not had too many scratches. It’s a painted on type finish it seems as it’s not a true chameleon paint. It’s available in other colors, Blue, Black, Silver and Rainbow like I have. It is IP65 moisture and dust rated.

Astrolux Length = 60.75mm | Nitecore Length = 60.96mm
Astrolux Width = 25.38mm | Nitecore Width = 24.38mm
Astrolux Height = 12.93mm | Nitecore Height = 11.85mm
Astrolux Weight = 1.39oz | Nitecore Weight = 0.83oz

LED+ Battery
The version I have uses a Cree XP G3 LED in cool white (6000-7000k) as its main emitter. https://i.imgur.com/UU4tHfW.jpg It’s not the best tint in my opinion and has an undesirable green tint.https://i.imgur.com/S2NaTvU.jpg Granted this isn’t going to be your main light. Output is listed as 250Lm, 210Lm, 150Lm, and 40Lm. This light also uses a small UV LED that is claimed to be 365nm and a Red LED. The UV emitter is pretty weak and seems to work fine with the $20 bills I tried it on in dim conditions. It’s a bit dim for use in a hotel or something like that. The red LED is quite a bit brighter than the UV but no lumen number is given. It has distortion thought in the beam pattern https://i.imgur.com/DDfOEJu.jpg. I do wish the Red LED had 2 output modes.

I see Astrolux and Banggood are making a Nichia version of this light and it’s on preorder. Personally that would be the one I would want. Heat isn’t an issue with this light, it barely gets warm to the touch.

Battery and Runtime
The battery is listed at 500mAh and is rechargeable via a built in micro USB port on the side of the light. There is a pretty nice rubber cover over the port on this that fits flush and stays in place. https://i.imgur.com/6z4IudW.jpg When recharging there is an LED under the buttons that turns red when charging and green when charged. I measured recharging speed at 4.92V at 0.51A.

Here is a runtime graph I made. https://i.imgur.com/yJ6cxWW.png As you can see it doesn’t take very long for the light to decrease output from max down to about 78% of the max light output. This is where the light is the most comfortable to run at long term, averaging about 65 minutes before dropping again to about 5% of the original output until the battery is exhausted.

Table and night shots https://youtu.be/PXP0CgFI_C0?t=5m51s
https://i.imgur.com/S2NaTvU.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/DDfOEJu.jpg

UI
UI on this isn’t my favorite for a few reasons but most of all it always starts on high/turbo with no memory. The square button on this light with the power button doesn’t turn on the main LED like you would think instead it turns on the UV and Red LED. The smaller Triangle button is for the main LED. You can long press on the triangle button to shortcut to turbo then step down each additional press. Single click when off doesn’t turn anything on, you must long press to start it. UV and Red modes also require long presses to turn on or off, short press to switch between modes. You can’t have 2 LED’s on at the same time.

Packaging
Is a simple Red and Yellow retail style box. https://i.imgur.com/gOmuALs.jpg https://i.imgur.com/hsMLgeX.jpg https://i.imgur.com/EGmnW1U.jpgThe light comes packed in a plastic pack. There are no accessories, no charging cable, and no instructions other than what is listed on the box.

Conclusion
This is a direct competitor to the Nitecore TIP but with extra LED’s. I don’t use red or UV often enough in an EDC situation, so I am mainly judging off the main beam and tint and in that arena the Nitecore TIP CRI, that I have wins. However, I like the physical design of the Astrolux K1 a little better especially with a cover for the USB port and how they are doing the key ring loop. The UI on the Astrolux K1 isn’t great in my opinion. For an EDC situation you don’t want all the lumens right away, it would be better to come on in low and let the user decide if they need more light. I don’t like the longer presses needed to do most things on the light. No instructions are in or on the package too. Make sure to get those from the Banggood listing.

My recommendation would be to order the Nichia version of this light if you want all 3 colored LED options in one small keychain style light. That will improve the tint of the main LED. When priced right I think this makes a decent competitor to the Nitecore TIP, hopefully they will revise the firmware so future versions won’t start on high.

Save 20% off the Astrolux K1 during Nov 11-13th using code: 4fdb18 at https://goo.gl/74MCnC

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Olight M2R Warrior (NW) Review

The Olilght M2R Warrior is the newest light from Olight and one of the most highly anticipated of the year. The first time we saw it was at Shotshow. The M2R Warrior is designed as a tactical light and includes several features Olight is known for and a few new ones. Thanks to Olight for sending this out to me to take a look at.

Full Photo Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/adoWB
Video version of this review:  

Construction
Olight has put a lot into the physical design of this light. https://i.imgur.com/lUB0yaD.jpg The anodizing is a high quality gloss black. Starting at the top you have a signature blue Olight bezel with some non deep crenelations https://i.imgur.com/BU09nQn.jpg in it. Below that you have the aluminum head and body. There are tier drop cuts in the head https://i.imgur.com/CMIfmPU.jpg for heat dissipation and further down you have more traditional heat syncing . It has a nice polygonal edges to help it 

keep from rolling away. Inside this you have an electronic switch surrounded by a nice blue bezel with an LED in the center that is used for Low battery notification, lockout notification https://i.imgur.com/CMIfmPU.jpgt. Below that you have raised bumps https://i.imgur.com/DE6I2sr.jpg on the body of the light giving added grip and something a little different from traditional knurling. At the end you have the new stainless steel tail switch https://i.imgur.com/GX6Mfdf.jpgwhich has magnetic recharging, as well a second electronic switch which offers a silent momentary mode, and then a full press to lock in power. More on modes in a bit. Labeling is kept to a minimum, with branding near the head is alway done so it can be read from left to light not as you rotate the light https://i.imgur.com/3rpqvWs.jpg . The branding is at 2 and 10 positions when looking head on. The CE mark is opposite the button and the tail clip has a bit on instruction on how the new tail switch works.

Inside this light uses a dual tube design https://i.imgur.com/51p8ddx.jpg which allows for the use of the two electronic buttons and the non proprietary battery. Do not remove this inner tube, it’s held in with an O ring https://i.imgur.com/xP9ObVC.jpgand is hard to impossible to put back in place. The light will still work but lack of it could affect it’s IPX-8 water rating.

Measured weights and sizes with my caliper and scale are below.
Weight with Included Olight battery = 5.43 oz
Length = 129.9mm
Diameter at its widest = 28.53mm
Diameter at its narrowest = 25.48mm

LED
My M2R Warrior uses a Cree XHP35 LED in Neutral White. https://i.imgur.com/BU09nQn.jpg Cool White is also available.

The Lens itself is made of glass and anti reflective coated. The reflector itself is highly polished with a heavy orange peel. https://i.imgur.com/BU09nQn.jpg When combining this with the LED you get a light pattern that’s a little hard to describe. It has a hot center but with quite a bit of flood on the spill. The transition is very smooth. The result is a light the is kind of a do it all. It’s not a true thrower but throws decently, and it’s not pure flood but does that pretty well too.

Heat
High output lights put out heat, this is nothing new and the M2R isn’t an exception. During my 3 hour runtime test I measured the light at the 2 hour mark with an infrared thermometer and the body where you hold your hand was a warm 122F. This radiated through out the light. This is fairly warm for the 2 hour mark. During my standard 1 minute test during turbo it reached 91F.

Runtime chart 

Modes
This light has 2 main modes of operation, a Standard and an Enhanced Tactical mode. I did most of my testing in standard mode because I prefer to have turbo available at the rear switch instead of strobe like in tactical mode. See the manual for how to switch between modes.

In standard mode the light goes up to 1000 lumens in turbo and bumps to 700 lumens after about 3 minutes. From there it has medium 1 at 250 lumens, and medium 2 at 60 lumens, low at 15 lumens and then moon at 1 lumen. In Enhanced Tactical mode all is the same except Turbo is 1500 lumens no matter if you use the rear momentary switch or the side switch to lock in. To me it would be much easier to just have turbo mode be the same level in both modes.

Mode Specs

UI is similar to other Olights but with some differences. Long press from Off to go to moon light mode, Double click to go to burbo, and Triple click to go to strobe.

There the front eswitch is mostly used as a mode switch but can be used to turn the light on and off from off as well.

The rear tail cap is multi purpose. It’s the charging base and a dual mode switch. It’s a silent switch in both modes but you can feel what’s happening. When in Standard mode the tail switch is a momentary turbo (1000 lumens) or you can lock in turbo. In Enhanced Tactical mode the rear tail switch is momentary tubeo (1500 lumens) or if you lock in you get strobe. It’s a bit of an odd design. Memory mode is available except for turbo and strobe.

Table and Outdoor Shots https://youtu.be/zZF66iL4jEQ?t=9m5s

Charging
Olight has taken a bit of criticism recently with their magnetic charging system. However the M2R improves by making a safer charging system. While the tail cap still has exposed voltage that matches the batteries nominal voltage its amperage is greatly reduced. I measured the amperage at 0.02aH on the new switch.

The biggest improvement in my opinion on the charging system is that this light no longer needs the proprietary Olight batteries https://i.imgur.com/Ee1sVVf.jpg. Now the light will use standard button top or flat top high drain 18650 batteries and charge them. This light is compatible with the included magnetic doc or the Micro-Dok II system. Operation is just the same, as on other Olights, the LED on the charger is red when charging and it goes green when charged.

Packaging and Accessories
The packaging of the Olight M2R is extensive, a lot of work went into the design and execution here. The outside is pretty typical of Olight with the rear having pretty extensive information about the light. Inside https://i.imgur.com/VO32jx0.jpg there is a nice box that’s covered by a plastic cover with directions on how to switch between switch between tactical and normal modes. Inside you get the light, with the battery preinstalled. Below and to the side you have the accessories which include The charging cable, holster, and lanyard. https://i.imgur.com/SkwZxOv.jpg The M2R Warrior comes with a new holster https://i.imgur.com/hCWaXle.jpg for Olight. This holster has a clip in the front that’s protected, in the back it has a snap and velcro. Inside its slightly padded https://i.imgur.com/OqxHv0I.jpg too. This is a pretty nice holster for daily use.

Pro’s
* No proprietary battery needed for the magnetic charging system to work! Flat tops or button tops are accepted and charged. You need a 6A+ continuous discharge for turbo to work.
* The tail switch has a fantastic feel, is quiet/silent and manages magnetic charging too.
* Great beam pattern from the heavy orange peel reflector. Less spotty and more practical.
* Good carry pocket clip.
* Neutral and Cool White LED options

Con’s
* It’s a little longer then I want to EDC in a front pocket in the office, but shorter than other “tactical” style lights.
* Magnet isn’t quite strong enough to hold the light on some slicker magnetic surfaces in a vertical position, but the light will hang just fine.
* A little slower charging system than standard USB through this new tail cap.
* Two different “turbo” modes is confusing. I would prefer one instead.
* No extra orings were included in the package.

The Olight M2R Warrior is a pretty impressive light in my opinion. I like the direction Olight is trending with this light by using a safer charging system and stepping away from the use of expensive proprietary batteries. For me it’s a little larger then I want as an in pocket EDC when sitting at a desk job. However, if I was standing more I think it would work well. The included holster is high quality and another good option for carry. The beam pattern https://i.imgur.com/fujFV5V.jpg makes this a very versatile light for many use cases. I think it’s slightly less Tactical and more EDC Tactical.

I didn’t have any trouble with the two electronic switches. I thought in standard mode the UI was easy enough to use but you’re never going to make everyone happy. I have seen some reviews wishing the light did more, but if so that would further complicate the UI. Right now the UI is similar to other Olights with a few small changes. What I don’t get is why Olight didn’t just include one Turbo mode instead of two for the two different modes. The construction is what I expect from Olight and they have done a nice job on this one. I can definitely see why it was delayed a few times as the engineering really shows through https://i.imgur.com/JCp6syb.jpg . I don’t think there will be any trouble with this light holding up. I am looking forward to seeing if they come up with a weapon mount for it.

You can purchase it at your favorite Olight retailer or on the offical ebay store http://bit.ly/M2ReBayUS

EDC Review Reviews

Klarus Mi1C Review

The Klarus Mi1C is a small EDC style light with a great pocket clip. It includes a rechargeable 16340 battery that has an onboard microUSB connector for recharging. Thanks to Bestlight.IO for sending me this light to take a look at. Use the code LIQUID at checkout to save 10% on your order.

Full Image Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/JlKb6
The Video version of this Review:

Size & Construction
This is a very small light https://i.imgur.com/aMdafMR.jpg 54.60mm in length https://i.imgur.com/3z8qTyb.jpg to be exact and 21.8mm in diameter to be exact. Weight came in at 1.55 ounces with battery and clip. It’s made of aluminium that is very nicely anodized a black finish with low gloss. The body has a nice texture on the battery tube and the tail cap has flat spots to help you unscrew it. The tailcap is also magnetic and decently strong. The head is ribbed. If I compare it to my Olight Smini here it’s identical in size.

This light breaks down into 3 major pieces, the bezel can be unscrewed with a lock ring pliers. There are springs on both sides of this light. The magnet in the tail can be easily removed (Just remove the spring) https://i.imgur.com/795TSUE.jpg The clip is removable and fully adjustable anywhere around the light. Overall it’s a fantastic clip for EDC. https://i.imgur.com/dqkBdyo.jpg

LED and modes
The LED in use in this light is a Cree XP-L HI V3 in cool white. https://i.imgur.com/TM2YsLP.jpg I didn’t observe any off colors in the beam. This light features 4 main modes and 2 flashing modes with soft mode changes in between each mode. There is no direct access High or Low mode. Mode spacing could be improved in my opinion. As you can see in the table https://i.imgur.com/FT1LoSl.jpg there is a big difference between high at 600lm and medium at 45lm. Low is listed at 10 lumens and moonlight is thankfully at 1lm. Strobe is at 600 and oddly SOS is only at 45 lumens. These were all with the 16340 battery. I would have liked to see another mode between High and medium, something like 150 or 200lm as I think it would be very useful.

On High mode I noticed the light flickers slightly at the beginning before it stabilizes. I tried to capture this on video but was unable to, it’s not very noticeable. This light also has a blink system used to show the battery capacity.

Lockout
There seems to be an error maybe due to translation in the manual about lockout mode. I found it hard to get the light out of lockout if I followed the manual until I figured it out. To activate lockout press and hold the button when the light is off, hold through moon light mode and the light will flash 3 times. If you push the button again the light flashes twice showing it’s locked. To unlock press the button 3 times quickly and the light is now unlocked.

Lens
This is a very floody light thanks to it’s drop style lens. https://i.imgur.com/7pxIX0F.jpghttps://i.imgur.com/zpM0yY7.jpg It has no reflector https://i.imgur.com/NHQXve8.jpg to keep it as short as possible. I measured the lens at 16mm in diameter and 5mm tall. Personally I would prefer a TIR style reflector like what’s on the Olight Smini because I prefer that beam pattern for EDC uses.

Night Shots https://youtu.be/iVtaloS5hYs?t=4m31s
Beam Shots for the Klarus and then the Olight

Battery
This light does need a moderately high drain cell in order to get the full 600 lumens for more than a few seconds. Included is a Klarus branded USB rechargeable 16340 battery that’s stated at 700mah. It has a microUSB https://i.imgur.com/3v83YXH.jpg connector built into the top of it. When recharging there is a Red LED on top and when it’s full it turns blue. I measured this battery recharging at 0.33A. I had no complaints with this battery. There is not room for an 18350 battery in this light. The light is compatible with standard CR123a cells as well.
Runtime Graph
Here is a graph of runtime I did on the included battery on a full charge.  As you can see temperature regulation played a pretty big roll in the output of this light with the light stepping down as it got hot. I think an additional mode between high and medium would be a nice compromise between more usable light and heat.


EDC
As an EDC this is pretty darn great. I really like the captured pocket clip https://i.imgur.com/dqkBdyo.jpg that allows for very deep bezel up carry. https://i.imgur.com/MXWky4V.jpg It’s fully rotatable on the light and nicely accommodates jeans that have a larger seam at the top.There is a magnet in the tail that is strong enough to hold the light up but not much more than that.

Package
This looks like a perfect little stocking stuffer to me. It’s like it’s already wrapped up and with a bow. It’s a very nice presentation box. Inside you get 2 extra o rigns the manual and that’s it.

Pro
* Good low lumen mode
* Very well constructed light with excellent anodizing
* Great in the pocket EDC ability, no issues with accidentally turning on.

Cons
* I am just not a big fan of the light output of the lens here. It’s too much a super even flood and has very harsh edges. I would have a more hot center allowing the light to be pointed.
* Mode spacing could be better. It needs something between High (600lm) and Medium (45lm)
* No USB cable included for recharging.
* There seems to be some translation issues in the included manual about lockout mode.

I have an Olight Smini in copper and really like it as an EDC light. It has a TIR style lens which makes a very useful wide beam with a hotter center. The Mi1c I thought would be very comparable and have the added features of a magnet in the tail cap, be lighter and a great clip but instead the super floody nature of the lens kind of turned me off. I used the light out one night when I was out photographing the sunset to navigate down some trails and out of Golden Gate park https://i.imgur.com/TSiTgGR.jpg. It did work for this but I wished I would’ve had my Reylight Ti-Lan I also had brought on my trip instead.. It was good for up close but further away the super even floody beam provided long shadows that made it hard to determine the trail. Part of this is due to the big difference in lumens between high (600) and medium (45).

In all fairness this isn’t a light to take on a hike. In more normal urban EDC use this light did better. It’s worked well to find the screw the went under a piece of furniture, to make sure the mailbox was empty at night, and to avoid spiders in the backyard. It’s clip is fantastic and it’s fantastic as an EDC. It’s lightweight and well built and rechargeable nearly anywhere. With the attractive box it would make a nice stocking stuffer too. Take a look at it on Bestlight.IO.

EDC Review Reviews Travel

Reylight Ti-LAN Review

Today I have the Reylight Ti Lan on my review table. Thanks to Rey at Reylight for sending me this light at a discount so that I could review it.

Photo Gallery: https://imgur.com/a/vtqan
YouTube Review:

The Ti Lan shares many of it’s features and design characteristics with the Reylight Pineapple so if you like it you will like the Ti Lan and save a few ounces.

Construction
The Ti Lan is made from beautiful titanium alloy that has been bead blasted as it’s finish. I like this because I think it shows fewer scratches because it’s bead blasted. This can be debated but the Ti LAN is also offered in a polished titanium.
The machining is good and the finish is uniform. The TI LAN differs from the Pineapple the most in the design of the head https://i.imgur.com/T1DHpD6.jpg , battery tube and tail piece with space for 6 tritium vials. https://i.imgur.com/CyKY2js.jpg This one has 3 round side panels and on one there is a light surface level etch of the logo. Threads are nicely cut and plenty of them. When installing the battery, instead of unscrewing the back of the light I would recommend unscrewing the head and installing the threads that way. https://i.imgur.com/fB6N0M0.jpg My Ti Lan kind of disassembled itself when I unscrewed the rear cap. I will put a little locktight on the threads to solve the problem. The lens has a very light orange peel, and the glass is hardened with antireflective coating. The rear piece of titanium does unscrew to remove the clip or to aid in Tritium install.

This light has really been designed for Tritium inserts all over. There are a total of 10 cutouts on the light. 3 are on the body of the head https://i.imgur.com/T1DHpD6.jpg , you have 6 through holes in the bezel https://i.imgur.com/0d3YMbn.jpg of the tail cap, and 1 in the on/off switch cover itself. If you are unfamiliar with Tritium, it’s a radioactive form of Hydrogen gas. It’s used in Flashlights, high end watches, and firearm sights enclosed in small glass tubes that are lined in phosphorus.

While the titanium saves some weight, this isn’t a super light weight flashlight for it’s size though. All measurements are without batteries.

Pineapple V2 in brass is – 3.2 oz
Ti LAN in titanium – 2.31 oz

Length = 96.15mm
Diameter of the head 21mm

LED & Modes
This light is a tail click, that tailstands https://i.imgur.com/4JJnsqM.jpg. I have not had any issues with it turning on accidentally in my pocket. The LED in use is the Nichia 219C in neutral white. This isn’t the highest output LED but the light quality makes up for that in my opinion. It’s probably a high CRI but this isn’t specifically stated. Light color is similar to my BLF 348 which is high CRI. Neutral white is just really nice and high CRI provides more accurate colors. I will trade these over more lumens anyday for every day practical use.

Modes
I like that this light starts on moonlight, however moonlight is so low at 0.02 lumen that you have to be in nearly pitch black for it to be useful. That said the 3 remaining higher modes are pretty useful especially when running a 14500 lithium battery. On screen now is a table of the light’s performance with both types of batteries. As you can see there is a big performance difference between AA NiHM batteries and 14500 LIthium batteries. Max of 110 lumens with a AA isn’t class leading, however with a 14500 it’s a lot better. I use the lithium batteries in it as my EDC to get that extra boost in performance. On High with a 14500 this light gets hot, really hot when ran for 5+ minutes. It does not step down due to temp. On my standard temp test (1 minute high it got to 101F At 5 minutes this was up to 135F. I have parts for a new rig to measure temp and lumens on the way in the next month or so. I don’t hear any buzzing in the lower modes with the Ti Lan like my first generation Pineapple had.https://i.imgur.com/dSTCT2o.jpg

I don’t have any major issues with the pocket clip. https://i.imgur.com/khtWeXJ.jpg It fits pretty well on my pants pocket and stays in place. It’s a capture clip, and non reversible. If you were to remove it, it would leave a visible ring on the light. I do wish it was slightly deeper carry as I do with most knives and flashlights but it’s not too bad. I don’t care for the nib opposite the clip for a lanyard but this can be fiiled down. No lanyard is included and it’s a very small hole. The light is IPX-4 water resistant but i did not test that. I did bend the clip once during carry but this was my own fault. I was able to take it off and bend it back on the table pretty easily.

The Ti-LAN has a new box that I like quite a bit. https://i.imgur.com/YcP7dTm.jpg It has your lumen and runtime chart and basic operating instructions. Considering Reylight is a very small company its’ very nice and does the job well.

Conclusion
This is a really nice EDC light in my option. It’s not tactical, but instead super practical and definitely attractive looking. It sits well in my pocket and is comfortable to EDC, and a lot of that I attribute to being a nice diameter. I am a Titanium fanboy and I really like how the bead blasted finish looks. With a AA battery or NiHM battery the performance is behind the curve, and about what you would expect out of a smaller non neutral white AAA light. However with a 14500 the performance is pretty good, combine that with the neutral white high CRI LED and a tail switch this becomes a great EDC in my opinion.

The Ti LAN is now available available on Amazon with Prime shipping. It makes it fast and easy to get a great elegant EDC light.

Coupon
Use the code J6PSMOWA on Amazon to get the Reylight Ti-Lan for $59
Sandblasted http://amzn.to/2fTPIn0
Polished http://amzn.to/2y416mJ

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

AstroLux MF01 Review

The Astrolux MF01 the newest light from Astrolux and Banggood. Thanks to Bangood for sending this to me to show my subscribers and Reddit. The MF01 is a numbers light. It has 4x 18650 batteries, 18 Nichia 219 LED’s in neutral white, 12,000 Lumens at peak, all in a light slightly larger than a pop can.

Image Album: https://imgur.com/a/vTp72
Youtube Video:

Physical Appearance
This light has a satin black finish with mild hash grips on about 50% of it’s body. https://i.imgur.com/ovhRVGX.jpg It provides some added grip but I would recommend using the included lanyard. I like that they choose OD green for the lanyard color as it goes well with the glow under the button and who doesn’t like OD green. The bezel is a polished stainless steel I believe. https://i.imgur.com/Xi2U6lu.jpg It’s screwed on very tight but should be removable with a strap wrench. This light is IPX-7 rated for moisture.

The head of the light is larger than the body 72mm vs 49.5mm.
Length comes in at a measured 128mm at its longest points.
Weight with batteries is a hefty 726.6 grams.

This light does tailstand well and is stable when doing so. https://i.imgur.com/4Gj4VVY.jpg This light does come into 3 distinct pieces, the head, the battery tube, and tail cap. https://i.imgur.com/vz2yHDn.jpg The battery carrier itself is two tick pieces of brass with circuit boards on each end. https://i.imgur.com/lHYWpOd.jpgThere are 4 metal tubes that are rubber lined that are the structure. https://i.imgur.com/dv3737F.jpg Each is screwed in. More on battery configuration and what works later.

Threads a triangularly cut and close together. https://i.imgur.com/P7N92qX.jpg They were well greased from the factory. You can mechanically lock out the light by unscrewing the rear cap to break the electrical connection. Build quality is on par with other lights in this price range and I can’t find any glaring flaws.

I really like that this light has a tripod adapter both in ? and ¼ dimensions. https://i.imgur.com/AgX7JTV.jpg I think this is a must on one of these coke can style lights. They tend to be so floody and work well but if you are using it to light a large area the tripod mount makes it easy to mount and hold in the position you need. https://i.imgur.com/eJZLXqS.jpg The adapter to convert between sizes is nice too. It mounts pretty flat. https://i.imgur.com/mEiVKgo.jpg

Performance
Heat is a bit of an issue on this light. It’s no surprise that when in turbo and making nearly 12,000 lumens with the Nichia LED option that this light gets quite hot. When the light gets to 60C (140F) degrees it will reduce the output to around 2500 lumens to maintain temperature and prevent damage. During my standard 1 minute turbo test the light got to 109F. https://i.imgur.com/Anx18E6.jpg I didn’t get it to the 60C it states step down occurs at.

The Nichia 219 LED’s produce a whiter neutral white output and only sacrifice a small amount of output in doing so. The human eye can’t tell the difference between the 12000 lumens that this light produces with the XPG3 LED and the 11526 lumens it produces with the 219C LED’s. What a little strange is On low and turbo the XPG3 LED’s produce more lumens but on Medium, Medium1 and high the 219C LED’s produce more lumens. Throw distance is the same.

Nichia 219C
Low – 70 Lumens – 214 hours
Medium – 700 Lumens – 14 hours https://i.imgur.com/P5pAjLw.jpg
Medium1 – 1100 Lumens – 4.7 Hours https://i.imgur.com/rWD3qnF.jpg
High – 6800 Lumens – 4 Hours https://i.imgur.com/5GKFMic.jpg
Turbo – 11,526 Lumens – 3.5 Hours https://i.imgur.com/pRtyWs5.jpg

A little comparison between the Emisar D4 (Nichia), Astrolux MF01 (Nichia), Nitecore TM06s https://i.imgur.com/2l81G3Z.jpg

Batteries play a big part in the performance of this light. Astrolux recommends Samsung 30Q batteries. For my tests I used KeepPower batteries based on LG HG2 and are button tops. These are similar specced batteries but sag a little. This light is designed for use with button top cells cells in a 2S2P configuration. The 2s means two cells in series doubling voltage, and 2p means two cells in parallel adding capacity. Doing this gives you the best of both worlds but means you have to put the cells in the carrier correctly or there could be devastating results. You can run flat top cells in this light if you pry the white plastic rings off of an empty carrier. https://i.imgur.com/dv3737F.jpg They are held in place with a small amount of adhesive. While I don’t recommend this it’s possible.

UI
The UI of this light is pretty simple and well explained in the manual with a diagram. From Off clicking the button once enters normal mode in low. Clicking again increases each mode spacing (5 in total) all the way to turbo. If you double click you have a shortcut to turbo. Triple click when off or on gets you to the special modes which include Tactical strobe, SOS, and location beacon. When the light is on just long press to shut it off. This light does have memory modes. When the light is off you can Long Press the button to go into lockout and the breathing LED will stop. Long press again to deactivate it.

Low Voltage protection is shown with the glowing LED under the main button. Astrolux calls it a breathing light as it fades in and out slowly. Green is above 6.8V, Red is 6.1V, red flashing is below 6.1V and at 5.8V the light turns off.

Table Top + Rest of Outdoor https://youtu.be/X5YeLTnUrWU?t=7m42s

Airport Security
I brought the Astrolux MF01 with me on a recent business trip and I can comment that the TSA will take an interest in this light if it’s in your carry on luggage. I watched the guy running the Xray machine stop, inspect my bag, turn his head to the side and frown and immediately pull my bag out for manual inspection. The nice TSA agent grabbed my bag and knew immediately I had a flashlight and we actually started talking about it as she was pretty interested. She was really impressed that it was capable of 12,000 lumens and mentioned it was a lot more then her MagLite. Once things were inspected and a sample was put into the mass spectrometer, I was cleared for my flight. On the way home I took the light out of the bag and put in in a bin like it was a laptop and it passed through without issue.

Packaging and extras
The package is a nice heavy white box with a line drawing of the light. Nowhere on it mentions the brand or the model. Inside the light is held in place with white foam. https://i.imgur.com/UAN9SEE.jpg It’s easiest to take the first layer of foam out to get to the light. The light comes with 2 extra orings, a tripod mount adapter, and a lanyard. The directions are pretty good explaining the modes, parameters, and low voltage protection.

Pro’s
* Great output with a more neutral white color and HIGH CRI.
* Lanyard + tripod options
* Fits in the hand pretty well

Con’s
* No Direct access to low modes.
* Mode spacing could be improved.
* My batteries are a little looser then I would like but this hasn’t cause issues. Be careful about cells that are too long as they can deform a spring.
* No included belt pouch

Summary
What surprised me about this light it’s more than just a flood like many in this format. This actually throws a decent amount given how short the optics are. The optics in front of each of the LED’s really make a difference in the beam pattern. Given the cost of this light I think it’s a good value. Many high output lights are pretty expensive and this is one of the lowest cost per lumens out there right now. In the lower modes the runtimes are impressive. I would like to see a mode lower than 70, and something between 1100 and 6800. I could see someone using this for light hiking or out in very rural areas. If you are looking for a really high output light thats in between a flood and a throw, check this one out.

Astrolux MF01 is available from Bangood at: https://goo.gl/Lvx5oT
Use the coupon code: e04bc8 to get the MF01 for $85.95 updated price
Samsung 30Q Batteries https://goo.gl/7cr1QT

EDC Flashlight Reviews

Blitzwolf BW-ET1 Review

This light was provided by Bangood for testing and review. They have provided a Coupon code for anyone interested in purchasing that brings it to $25.95 when you use the coupon code 8980bc at Banggood https://goo.gl/iaWk7P

Small Photo Gallery: http://imgur.com/a/oCojV
Video Version of this review:

The Blitzwolf BW-ET1 is a small pocket carry flashlight  that was sent to me by Banggood for testing. It’s main feature is it’s ability to ramp brightness instead of defined modes. Blitzworlf is a brand probably better known for their electronics chargers and cables. To me it looks like they took a lot of inspiration from Anker in the packaging and brand philosophies.

The EBW-ET1 is one of two flashlights that I can see Blitzwolf is currently making. Construction is average quality. There isn’t anything bad to report nor is there anything extraordinary. Anodizing seems standard, with a light gloss to it, there is a lot going on in the design of this small light. This light does come into quite a few more pieces then I expected, 6 to be exact excluding Orings.  This has the potential to be a place for increased water ingress even though it’s rated for IPX-8. You are able to unscrew the tail cap and remove the neodymium magnet if you don’t want it.

It can run on AA batteries or 14500 lithium cells which is how I am running it for increased performance. If you use AA then you can use 2 of them with the optional extension tube, it can’t use two lithium batteries though.

Emitter
This light uses a Cree XPL-V6 LED that is listed as having a 5000k warm white output. In my testing it’s not as warm as my Nichia 219b in my Reylight Pineapple. https://youtu.be/pt9YqSoZ1aw?t=6m20s The light does have a hot center spot with a lot of flood. No beam distance is given. The lowest mode is listed as 2.5 lumens with a 14500 and 600LM with a 14500. If battery voltage falls below 3.4v turbo is not possible with a lithium battery. It doesn’t have a low voltage protection for lithium cells, so a protected battery is recommended. Maximum temperature achieved during my one minute test was 90F.

Controls 
With the stepless controls you press the only button and hold, stopping at the brightness you want. Once you let off the button if you press again you’re going down in output. The light will blink once, to let you know you’re at 1% brightness, twice to give indication you’re at 50%, and strobe 3 times to show your at maximum brightness. There are shortcuts to jump to 100% brightness by double clicking the mode button. If you triple click you will get SOS/Strobe mode. Long pressing in this mode allows you switch between patterns. Double click to exit this mode. The light also has memory that can only be reset by removing the light. No button lockout is mentioned so it’s best if you use physical tail switch for that. https://youtu.be/pt9YqSoZ1aw?t=4m25s

Packaging
In the box you get the flashlight itself with single battery tube, hand strap, soft light baton, manual and warranty card. For the normal price I think you really should get the extra body tube and definitely a pocket clip. The box itself folds out nicely and is foam lined. The manual has taken a lot of influence in it’s design. Its simple, straightforward and easy to use.

Mine didn’t come with a pocket clip which means as an EDC it’s not going to work with my system very well. Some of the marketing photos show a pocket clip. It’s a small narrow light so if it had a pocket clip it should work decently well. I checked with Banggood to see if mine was just missing a clip and they said no. is a size comparison with other 14500 lights I have like the Reylight Pineapple and Olight S1A.

If you can catch this light on sale at a good price then It’s a decent option for a neutral white stepless light that will run on AA or 14500 cells. At normal price it’s more on the expensive side of things. Mine didn’t come with a pocket clip which means as an EDC it’s not going to work with my system very well. For a light marked as a EDC, the lack of a pocket clip is a killer. Moving past that this light has pretty solid performance for it’s size and I like it’s in a neutral white by default.

Pro’s
-LED Tint is nice at 5000k
-I like that it comes with a soft light baton, I wish more lights came with this as standard
-Stepless driver is nice and easy to use

Con’s
-No Pocket clip included. It’s very needed on a light this size
-The extended battery tube should be included
-No low voltage protection with lithium batteries. Use of a protected battery is strongly recommended

EDC Flashlight Reviews Review Reviews

Nitecore SRT9 Revew

The Nitecore SRT9 is the latest light in the Smart Ring series of lights from Nitecore. It offers 8 different modes of light, including Red, Blue, Green, and UV led’s in addition to the main cool white Cree XHP50 LED. The [Nitecore SRT9]-https://goo.gl/qSmr7B was provided by https://bestlight.io Use code LIQUID and save 10% off your orders at https://bestlight.io/ including the Nitecore SRT9

Video Review https://youtu.be/BAJyr8pWEQg

Image Gallery Fullhttp://imgur.com/a/7F7gO

This entire light feels super solid, like it’s built like a tank. The walls where the cells are is pretty thick machined aluminum. The exterior design feels rugged and with all the cutouts it holds well in the hand. The body design isn’t too aggressive to tear up a hand or pocket. The head is more aggressive. I like how the labeling is minimal on this light too. The anodizing is good and even. It has a bit of a gloss to it.

This isn’t a small or lightweight flashlight. The side by side battery design I really like. It help keeps the light from getting too long and fits nicely in my hand. That said with batteries it’s pretty heavy at 11.4oz.

The head has some nice cooling fins on it as well as a warning to warn that it gets hot. The very front is steel bezel and finished with a silver paint/anodizing. The lense is recessed a bit for protection. The reflector itself has a light orange peel and then but outs for the 4 colored LED’s. I will go over beam pattern a bit later.

The tail cap is also very solid feeling. The latching mechanism takes some getting used to. https://youtu.be/BAJyr8pWEQg?t=2m21s You have to push both buttons/pins in at the same time to get the tail out while pulling. Even with practice it takes me a little bit. I find pushing them back in produces a very satisfying click and is easier. Don’t worry about this coming off accidentally, I just don’t see that happening. The bad is that there are no polarity markings on the tail cap, exterior, or interior of the flashlight. You can put batteries in backwards in this light. While there is reverse polarity protection it would be good if Nitecore would have put markings or keyed the tail cap in a way so it only goes in one direction.

This light is listed as having a beam distance of 246M, impact resistant to 1.5M, IPX8 water resistant.

This light uses a Cree XHP50 LED. It’s a quad package and pretty large die size.

It’s only available in a cool white tint for this light. Nitecore lists its range in this light as 0.1 lumens to 2150 lumens. In my testing and comparison to other lights 0.1 lumens isn’t accurate, I would put it more at 4-5 lumens. The UV LED is listed as having a 365nm light output. It’s not the brightest UV available. I am used to my Convoy S2+ UV being so strong. I think the best use for the UV is to check documents and money and also spot scorpions in your general vicinity while hiking. Red is listed at 13 lumens, green at 19, and blue at 3 lumens. When I tested the UV LED on money I got some interesting results.

On the US $20 bill both the SRT9 and Convoy S2+ UV lit up the security strip without a problem. However on the $100 bill the SRT9 didn’t show the strip, and the Convoy did. Not sure why, maybe the wavelength isn’t complete?



The Selector ring is how you change modes in this light. First you have an on off click button in the rear of the light which can be used for momentary operation. When on there is a blue LED on the side of the light that illuminates to let you know it’s on. It lights up about every 3 seconds. The reason this is there is because the light can be in on mode but you can have the selector ring in the “off position”. This also serves as a low voltage indicator when the light is on. The main selector ring is near the head of the light in a natural position when holding it in your hand. When in this off position if you move the ring to the right you feel a detent and then it starts ramping up the light. This allows you to dial in the exact amount of light you want or need. It’s a cool system. There is a detent at the top of this mode to let you know it’s reached the highest amount. Beyond this there is a fast strobe. Now if you turn the selector right to the left from the center position you get UV, followed by Red, green, blue, strobing Red/Blue, then White beacon mode. Color modes are not adjustable in brightness.

One thing I wish Nitecore would improve on the SRT9 is add some markings on the selector ring to index it. I plan to add a dot of white paint on the ring and body of the flashlight in the middle of the modes. That way I know if I turn to the left I get the colored modes, and if I turn to the right I have the ramping of the main flashlight.

Beam Patterns of this light are a little different. In white mode I was expecting distortion due to the cut outs for the color LED’s however it doesn’t really have one. https://youtu.be/BAJyr8pWEQg?t=8m39s The center is hot with plenty of spill. Nitecore claims this will go 245m and I could easily get it go 200. The color modes however each have significant distortion. You notice it the least on the UV color but Blue, Green, and red all have a lot of distortion and don’t always shine to the center. Run times vary due to all the different configurations available. On 18650 batteries nitecore quote the color modes as lasting for 48 hours, and white, on ultra low 250hrs, turbo for 1 hour.

This light can run on 4x CR123A or 2x 18650 batteries which is my preference for cost and runtime. I only had luck getting this light to run on button top cells. The unprotected flat tops I tried didn’t work. You can’t use magnets to create button tops for flat tops on this light due to the magnetic interference with selector ring.

This light does have a constantly running processor according to the manual. I measured the drain at 12.2mA. When I put this light through my standard 1 minute on Turbo it got to 90F degreese. When I was using it this weekend I found heat to be pretty well controlled and it didn’t feel too hot to hold especially for it’s output.

Packaging is standard Nitecore black and yellow box. Outside has a very retail look to it. Inside you get a plastic tray with the light, lanyard, holster, manual and an extra tail cap rubber piece. The holster is a nice heavy nylon thats shaped to fit this exact light. On the back it has a pretty heavy duty plastic D ring and a velcro belt strap. The front attaches with velcro. It’s decent quality.

The clip is a bit of an afterthought on this light. It’s nearly in the middle, and mounted so the head is up always. and at least on mine it’s not tight to the body. Given this light’s size I don’t see this as an EDC light. I don’t think I will remove mine because I do see some value in being able to clip it onto a pocket temporarily but I think I will use the lanyard for a more secure hand hold.

Summary
Over the weekend I took the SRT9 with me to a Milky Way photography class I went to. It turns out this isn’t the best light for that because it ended up being a bit too bright in red mode, and moon light was brighter than I was hoping for. However after everyone was done I played with it more and found it great to move between sites, and pack up the car etc. People including myself were impressed at how far it could throw. To me the best feature on this light is the selector ring. It works really well and makes it super intuitive to use. The colors and modes make this a very versatile light. I think it’s my favorite light in July.

Pro’s

  •  I really like the selector ring interface
  • This light feels like it’s built like a tank.
  • White beam pattern is good considering the cuts in the reflector. It throws pretty well.
  • It’s nice to have a light with some color options and a great interface to access them.

Cons

  • No polarity markings in the battery compartment. Read the springs on the bottom. Spring = Negative
  • I wish there was an external visual indicator for the beginning of the ramp.
  • Ultra low doesn’t seem to be the 0.1 lumens advertised.

 

Use code LIQUID and save 10% off your orders at https://bestlight.io/ including the Nitecore SRT9

EDC Flashlight Reviews

AceBeam EC35 Review

Here is my review of the Acebeam EC35 in Neutral White LED color. Check this light out at Bestlight.IO https://goo.gl/g69jzz